Jan 16, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Trader!!!! That is probably most everyone’s thoughts when they read this headline. The Chicago Blackhawks will have to purge some salary after this season with the Jonathan Toews/Patrick Kane extensions kicking in and the salary cap not going where everyone expected it to go last summer with the Canadian dollar sinking daily, but my question is when players like Patrick Sharp are sent packing in the offseason should Coach Q be going with him?
The resume is what everyone will look at and say that I’m totally crazy. Second all-time in wins, 2 President Trophies, Only the 2nd coach to win over 300 games with two different franchises, and oh by the way those two Stanley Cups he’s won with the Chicago Blackhawks.
The reason to ask the question is plain and simple with the Blackhawks player purge imminent for the second time during his stay behind the bench is it time for a different voice and coaching style to mold the young Blackhawks that will be coming up from Rockford to replace the stars that will be leaving to clear salary cap space.
If your a fan of Quenneville you will point to the fact that Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw have been young players that have successfully been brought up into the organization and succeeded under Coach Q. Let’s not forget that the fact that Saad succeeded in his first season is that there weren’t any other veteran options for Q to go to and he left Saad with Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews on the top line during that regular season no matter what his point totals were at the time. He was able to learn, make mistakes, and play with the best. Shaw on the other hand has an old school mentality that Q obviously likes because his play this season doesn’t warrant the playing time he receives, but that’s for a another time.
Flashforward to this season and Teuvo Teravainen. He did everything he was told to do, be responsible defensively for the entire 200 feet of the hockey rink, be creative with the puck and shoot more. Granted he wasn’t scoring at the rate any of us thought he would and he was making a mistake here and there but that’s what young players do and he never quit on a play that he did make a mistake on.
It’s just not Teuvo though, it’s been a Rockford audition this season and next up looks like Ryan Hartman. We have seen Adam Clendening (now traded), Klas Dahlbeck, and Phillip Danault all make quick short auditions and it appears as soon as Q sees a flaw in their game they are gone.
So now in the fall of 2015 will Q be the right person behind the bench? Will he be able to mold the young players or will he lose his mind. I’m not a Blue historian but when they needed to start bringing in some youth is about the time that Q got the pink slip. He’s great coach with great players and teaches them a lot defensively but in a rebuild season is he the right guy? Look at the Red Wings last season struggling with a bunch of players I have never heard of but look at this season they are back in contention with a young team sprinkled with veterans.
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Will the Hawks be a great team for a generation or will they just be a great team for a short stretch. What happens after this season will determine the fate of the franchise for years to come and the question is will Q be the right coach to make that transition?
What do you think? Am I crazy or making some sense?
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